Google IO 2015 Coverage

Telefónica’s deal to sell O2 to Hutchison Whampoa for £10.25 billion is finalised

O2_Offices_in_Leeds

It appears that the choice of mobile network providers in the UK will shrink yet again after confirmation that the owner of Three, the Hong kong based Hutchison Whampoa, has agreed terms to buy O2 from Spain’s Telefónica for £10.25 billion. This confirmation comes after the company performed 2 months of due diligence since the initial announcement on January 23rd.

Read more

Pre-orders commence for Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge in the U.K.

samsung_galaxy_s6_edge_front_back_slanted_blue

Most U.K. retailers and major carriers have opened the doors to take pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge. The available offers reveal some aggressive pricing for buyers willing to enter into two-year contracts. This may be driven by Samsung’s desire to reassert their leadership position in the smartphone market around the globe. Read more

U.K.’s Three and O2 to marry

O2_Offices_in_Leeds

Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, which is run by Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, has announced that they will be purchasing the O2 mobile carrier from Telefonica for 10.25 billion pounds ($15.4 billion USD). Hutchison already owns the Three Mobile network in the U.K., so the merger of the two entities under one umbrella will create a new number one mobile operator in the country.

Hutchison’s announced purchase of O2 comes a few weeks after BT announced that it had entered into exclusive talks with EE, currently the largest mobile operator, to purchase the company as part of a strategy to create a company that provides fixed phone service, mobile phone service, and internet service. Read more

Nexus 6 is now available in the UK via O2

motorola_nexus_6Good news for those of you in the UK who have been interested in picking up Google’s new phablet. O2 finally has the Lollipop filled Nexus 6 moving through its sales channels. Through the company’s Refresh tariff — the program that allows customers to upgrade their devices whenever they want — the company has a special offer on the table where you get the device, unlimited minutes, texts and 2GB of data. You’ll get this special offer for £38 per month.

Read more

Amazon’s Fire Phone heading to the United Kingdom

Amazon_Fire_Phone_Main_TAFacing lackluster sales in the US, Amazon may be moving toward selling the device in the UK, ending the AT&T and US market exclusive. Although when it arrives in Britain it will continue its network exclusivity by being solely available on O2. According to the Financial Times, the announcement between the two companies is expected as early as next week.

Given its mixed reviews and competitor flagship devices, the Fire Phone is losing ground quickly. Hopefully people in the UK will take to it enough to help Amazon bolster its numbers. Of course, only time will tell.

source: The Financial Times

O2 launching unique “Talk to the Hand” gloves, Bluetooth enabled gloves for phone calls

o2 phone gloves

If you like odd phone accessories, we’ve got something that you’re really going to enjoy. UK carrier O2 is launching a new line of Talk to the Hand gloves, which basically let you talk to your hand. A collaboration between O2 and artist Sean Miles, these gloves are essentially Bluetooth headsets built into a glove for your smartphone with the ability to answer calls and talk on the phone built right in. Sure, you’re going to look really, really weird, but it’s a cool concept.

The coolest part about the gloves is that they’re made from old recycled phones. The entire project was really just a way to push recycling into the spotlight and prove that old electronics can be recycled for some pretty neat new uses. So don’t trash those old phones just because you upgrade to something newer and better; they’ve still got some life left in them outside of your desk drawer or a landfill.

source: Pocket Lint

LG Nexus 4 reappears on Carphone Warehouse for pre-order

After a false start at taking pre-orders last week for Google’s new LG Nexus 4 smartphone, prompting an apology from Carphone Warehouse, it looks like things are back on track for UK buyers to place their order. The pre-order page has reappeared with an expected delivery date of November 13th, the same date Google indicates the device will be available for purchase at the Google Play Store.

Pricing for the LG Nexus 4 via Carphone Warehouse is listed as free for customers signing up for a new line or upgrade starting at £31 ($50 USD) per month for the 16GB version, although adding data pushes the price up. Carphone Warehouse lists the device as being available for O2 or Vodafone subscribers. The LG Nexus 4 will be available for £239 ($383 USD) via the Google Play Store, so you will need to do your math to figure out whether a subsidized phone is the better deal. Hit the source link for more details or to start your order.

source: Carphone Warehouse

UK carrier O2 starts Jelly Bean rollout for Samsung Galaxy S III; Vodafone to start on Monday

UK wireless carrier O2 has confirmed it is starting to roll out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to Samsung Galaxy S III owners on its network. They have not indicated how long it should take to reach all device owners, but some should start to see it on Friday, October 19th. O2 joins Three in rolling out the Jelly Bean update for Samsung’s flagship device. Vodafone has issued a statement via their forums that Jelly Bean will be deployed to Galaxy S III devices on their network starting on Monday. T-Mobile and Orange have not yet released any information about timing for users on their networks. The update will be available to O2 owners as a WiFi over-the-air update or through Kies.

source: TechRadar

UK 4G ready for widespread rollout after agreement between regulators, providers

Several UK mobile network providers, the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom, and other government officials have announced a deal that will accelerate the rollout of 4G LTE services throughout the UK. The settlement means carriers like O2 and Vodafone will likely be able to start deploying their 4G LTE networks in early 2013, about six months earlier than originally thought.

UK carrier EE was previously granted permission to use some of their existing 1800 MHz spectrum for 4G LTE network purposes and they were expected to start that rollout this fall. However, other UK carriers like O2 and Vodafone had been threatening to launch legal action claiming the permission to use the spectrum for 4G services was improper and that EE was being given an unfair advantage. Ofcom has now agreed to accelerate the approval process for 4G LTE services for other carriers after a planned January action of old analog television spectrum occurs in January 2013.

With the agreement, EE is anticipated to announce the imminent launch of their 4G LTE network. They have indicated they have plans to deploy the service to 16 UK cities before the end of the year and to 98% of the UK by 2014. Other carriers will be behind with their deployments which should now occur sometime in early 2013, but with the agreement the head start that EE gets will not be as great.

The settlement means the UK will be able to start to catch back up to other countries that already have 4G LTE services well established. As Ed Richards, Ofcom’s chief executive notes, consumers are the big winners as they will not have to wait for “a considerable period for the next generation of mobile broadband services.”

source: BBC